If you want to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) to address male and female infertility, you may wonder when you’ll know if the treatment was successful. This leads many IVF patients to purchase home pregnancy tests after embryo transfer to find out if they are pregnant. Yet Dr. Janelle Dorsett reminds patients time and time again that home pregnancy tests after IVF are a bad idea.
The team at our Lubbock, TX fertility center would like to consider when pregnancy is determined after IVF and why the in-office pregnancy test is more accurate than home pregnancy tests. We can go over these matters in greater detail when you visit the Centre for Reproductive Medicine.
When Will I Know I’m Pregnant After IVF?
For most patients, a fertility doctor will be able to confirm pregnancy roughly 12 to 14 days after embryo transfer has occurred.
Why Does It Take That Long?
After embryo transfer, it is necessary for the embryo to attach itself to the lining of the uterus in order to develop. Once it has attached, the embryo either remains there and develops into a fetus, or it is shed and the pregnancy is not viable.
In-Office Blood Tests for Pregnancy Confirmation
In order to confirm pregnancy, patients will return to our Lubbock fertility practice from an in-office blood test. The blood test will measure the level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) found in the patient’s blood. hCG is known as the “pregnancy hormone,” and its presence roughly two weeks after implantation is a sign that the pregnancy is viable.
Pregnancy should only be confirmed with this professional blood test rather than through the use of an at-home pregnancy test patients can purchase over the counter at the local drugstore.
What Happens When I Use an At-Home Pregnancy Test After IVF?
Using an at-home pregnancy test after IVF can lead to false positives or false negatives. These inaccurate results can cause patients to feel elated or unhappy when the official pregnancy test at our office is performed.
Rather than using the home pregnancy test after IVF, it’s for the best to wait until the official test can be performed at our practice.
Aren’t Home Pregnancy Tests Accurate?
They are accurate to a certain degree, but since they analyze a patient’s urine instead of their blood, the results can be much different from reality.
Since fertility drugs are used during the IVF process, residual hCG may be present in a patient’s system that have nothing to do with a pregnancy. This can lead to a false positive on a home pregnancy test. If the at-home test is performed closer to 14 days, this can lead to a false negative since the hCG may not be in the patient’s urine but rather their bloodstream.
What to Do While Waiting for an Official Pregnancy Test
Waiting for the official blood test can be difficult, especially with the worry about the success or failure of the IVF cycle. We encourage our Lubbock IVF patients to relax as much as possible. Find healthy ways to destress and keep your mind at ease. Light exercise and healthy eating habits are recommended during this 14-day period. Both can help you reduce anxiety, and they can have potential benefits for IVF success as well.
Learn More About IVF
To learn more about IVF and how it can benefit you in your attempt to have a child, be sure to contact an experienced fertility specialist and IVF doctor. We at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine can be reached by phone at (806) 788-1212.